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Sunday, 22 November 2015 16:48

MIGRANTS NOW MOVING FARTHER AFIELD Featured

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MIGRANTS NOW MOVING FARTHER AFIELD SOURCE UN 2015 IMF staff calculations

Economic realities are fueling an unprecedented migration of people from poorer countries in the southern hemisphere to richer countries in the northern hemisphere. Most of those countries that have built higher levels of prosperity are nations based in Western ideals and as the trend of northern migration has sped up substantially since the early 1990’s, the societies built on these ideals are finding themselves in a clash of cultures unprecedented in world history, according to a new study by the International Monetary Fund.

The chart below shows that global migrants are ending up in Australia, Canada, the United States and Northern Europe. While it comes as no surprise that these nations are magnets for immigrants, the Persian Gulf states and even Kazakhstan, a small but resource-rich central Asian nation, are also less well-known, but also very popular destinations.

World migration patterns graph
Equal, or perhaps exceeding economic migration, the number of people fleeing to other countries because of war or repression has also climbed in an exponential growth pattern - to the highest level since the early 1990s. If current trends prevail, the numbers are likely to rise even higher.
In the past most migrants who were forced to move for humanitarian reasons flocked to neighboring countries. Now, an ever-increasing percentage seek asylum and relocation in peaceful northern nations. The most recent highly publicized exodus of people from Syria and other war-torn parts of the Mideast to Europe underscore this movement.
It is also noteworthy that the number of migrants for both reasons — economic or humanitarian — has tripled since 1960, according to the IMF.
It is true that many migrants are uneducated, some even illiterate but the share of well-educated migrants has also doubled. While these migrant re viewed and assimilated much more readily in the technological West, the loss of educated populaces has exacerbated the problem of “brain drain” in less advanced countries, leaving them even more likely to fail in restoring an economy sufficiently strong to keep its citizens from leaving in even greater numbers..
Conversely, the current abnormally high level of immigration, has created a backlash among citizens in richer countries who see their own prosperity, security and culture as under attack from the newcomers who depress wages, take jobs, create enclaves of foreign religions and generally fail to assimilate into Western nations.
Muslims in particular are seen as the greatest threat and these fears are easily understood due to the rise of Islamic terrorism all around the globe. The attack last week in France – a country that has long welcomed Muslims into its’ borders, have now brought demands for severely slowing or outright halting further immigration until proper vetting rules are put in place to insure terrorists are now migrating with legitimate refugees.
Immigration is also a hot-button issue for candidates in the U.S. 2016 presidential election cycle. Some of the more popular candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson have repeatedly told voters they will stop illegal immigration, refuse to accept immigrants not going through legal application processes and secure the US border which has long been viewed as too porous and improperly guarded.
While there has been substantial push back from certain voting segments, particularly those where households are likely to contain undocumented or illegal immigrants or those from countries where the majority of recent arrivals originate from, the suicide bombing in France and increasing terrorist strikes worldwide have given a prophetic ring to the platforms of candidates opposing unregulated migration.
It is not only the US that is seeing big changes in political structures due to these increasing migratory patterns. European political parties urging border closures and a cessation of open migration are rapidly growing in popularity as tens of thousands of people protest in the streets over the flood of migrants.
Elections are seeing an ever increasing number of anti-immigration representatives put into power and a deepening divide between liberals who seek to admit more immigrants and conservatives who want it stopped. Support for the politicians who instituted the policies that have allowed the mass migrations is also seen as quickly dropping in most richer Western democracies, most notably for Angela Merkel of Germany who is viewed by many as the prime architect of open immigration.

Carl Conley

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